What is the difference between facilitation, mediation and training?

Actually, it's quite simple: Facilitation creates a process that is defined by the client: (e.g. planning an event, building trust in the team). In terms of content, the facilitator stays out of it completely, but structures the different phases, pays attention to timekeeping and supports visualisation. Depending on the topic, she asks the group goal-oriented questions, makes indirect suggestions by facilitating exercises and, depending on the topic, provides feedback. The focus in the process is on achieving a previously specified goal in a limited time.

Mediation also creates a process, but one that revolves around a conflict. The focus of the process is that all sides have an equal say, can respectfully communicate their backgrounds and common interests and ideally develop the first approaches to a solution. Here too, the mediator stays out of the conflict completely, structures and visualises in such a way that emotions can calm down (conflicts are always emotionally charged), and then facilitates creative work on the solution. In terms of time, this continues until the mediation ends without an agreement or, better, after a resolution is reached that is consistent for all sides.

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mediation: efficient and target group oriented

A conversation among equals.
Process-oriented,
target-oriented and resource-oriented.

Training serves to develop skills and knowledge and follows the principles of adult education. The trainer sees herself as an equal to the participants and offers her expertise interactively (no classical teaching). The participants also contribute their expertise and "take on board" what they consider to be right and important. The trainer provides information based on the assignment, plans exercises for the development of competences, offers feedback and ideas – always in dialogue with the participants. The focus of this process is on designing "learning steps".

A short note on virtual trainings:

Teaching content virtually often takes longer than face to face. This has several reasons: Often the "webinars" are simply teaching conversations poured into Powerpoints with little to make them memorable.

Interactive versions are better, in which case the prerequisite is that participants must feel comfortable using the technology, which must also be assured to work. My experience is that blended learning concepts are often offered because they allow a good mix of independent content development and then joint reflection. However, on the part of the participants, this means a high level of commitment and discipline. These "flipped classroom" concepts work especially well when the subject matter is knowledge transfer and competence development, which can be easily achieved through dialogue methods. Some excellent tools also allow 3D interactions and can also serve well for accompanying coaching, but they also require a certain level of technical prerequisites and preferences.

The clear advantage lies in being independent of location. If action competences are to be developed, a combination of presence and online formats or of virtual seminar and coaching formats are suitable. A face-to-face event will be both more lively and feel more complex.

How long do the various measures take?

Unfortunately, this question is not so easy to answer. What sounds quite clear in theory is often requested quite differently in the actual context. For example, aa group may request a facilitator, but in the course of the conversation it may turn out that the situation is actually one of conflict. In this case, a full day with a group, a half day with a small group and a follow-up appointment would certainly be appropriate. For classical trainings, where a change of attitude or behaviour is the goal, two days are optimal in many cases. For mediations it depends of course on the motivation of the participant and the intensity of the conflict, but usually several appointments should be planned for.
Due to organisational structures, staff are often only given two hours off to clarify something that takes much longer. Or clients might ask for training that consists of several shorter sessions, possibly even virtually – in short and concise "nuggets". 

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